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TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY COCA-COLA MEDIA DAY
August 23, 2011
TODD RHINEHART: Thank you for coming out today. My name is Todd Rhinehart. I'm the executive director of the TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. Really glad to have you out here for our 2011 media day. Hopefully you had a great time on the golf course. About four weeks before the tournament. Got to see a little bit of what the pros will experience in about four weeks from now. But just want to thank our friends here at East Lake Golf Club.
Real excited about this year's tournament. We have a lot of exciting news. I want to introduce a few folks will be speaking today. From the PGA TOUR, executive vice president of championship management, David Pillsbury. The general chairman of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, Rob Johnston. From the Coca-Cola Company, Sharon Byers, vice president of marketing assets. From Southern Company, executive vice president and president of external affairs, Chris Womack. And our special guest Kayla McClendon.
This is the 11th years of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola being here at East Lake. As you can see by our new name and new logo, this is an exciting year for this tournament. This would not be possible without our two big partners, the presenting sponsor, the Coca-Cola Company, and Southern Company, our proud supporters. They're the ones who make this tournament happen for the Atlanta community and more importantly provide charity dollars for the East Lake community and the First Tee. So thank you very much.
This year on the PGA TOUR it's been a very exciting year. We're very fortunate this year to have the PGA Championship in our backyard at the Atlanta Athletic Club. We saw a great victory by Keegan Bradley. It's been an exciting year. We have 11 first-time winners, five players who have won twice this year, and to tell you a little bit more about the PGA TOUR and what's been going on is David Pillsbury.
DAVID PILLSBURY: Thank you very much, Todd. I'd also like to extend on behalf of the PGA TOUR our deep gratitude to the Coca-Cola Company, to Southern Company, East Lake Foundation. I'm going to keep it short because I know everybody wants to hear from Kayla. She is such a great example of what this is all about in terms of making an impact on the community through the East Lake Foundation and First Tee. We're delighted to be here.
Very exciting beginning to the playoffs actually this week. I'm delighted to report to you we are sold out at Barclays. That's an indication of the kind of energy that is building around our playoffs. You'll hear our players talking about wanting to get to East Lake, wanting to get to the TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola because it means so much. It means you've played well all year.
You saw last week some big-name players battling it out to make sure they got into the playoffs. There's a lot of conversation about that which builds energy and momentum coming into East Lake. We're delighted about the progress of the playoffs. We're in our fifth-year and we really think it's starting to take hold. We think we're going to have an unprecedented level of interest this year coming into East Lake. We think we're going to have a great tournament.
With your help and the media, if you spread the word this indeed is a must-see event if you're a golf fan. You're going to see the best 30 players in the world. As Todd said, a lot of great new faces, record number of first-time winners, ratings are up, reach is up. So there's just tremendous excitement going into this year's event. We appreciate you being here and sharing the story, the support of these great corporate partners here in the Atlanta community and we look forward to seeing you in a few weeks for an outstanding culmination of the playoffs at the TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola.
There's a video we'll show you that will communicate some of the excitement I'm talking about.
TODD RHINEHART: Pretty exciting season. Really great to see. I think it's really exciting as the season comes down to this.
One of the things, if you look at the history of the FedExCup, a lot of drama comes to East Lake every September. I think there's no more drama than we had last year with Jim Furyk, who made that two-and-a-half-foot putt on the 18th hole, 72nd hole, not just to win the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, but to win the FedExCup.
At this time we have a special guest. Live from the Barclays and New Jersey is our 2010 champion Jim Furyk.
Jim, how are you doing?
JIM FURYK: I'm doing great.
TODD RHINEHART: The first question I would like to ask you is, how many other times have you worn your hat turned around on your head?
JIM FURYK: I guess that was my best Rickie Fowler imitation there. I had some rain dripping off the bill of my cap so wanted to turn it around and avoid all distractions.
TODD RHINEHART: Tell us a little bit about what last year meant to you, really what this means to other PGA TOUR players.
JIM FURYK: Last year was basically a dream season. It was a dream season. I really didn't play much better than I had the two seasons before, but I've always said it was kind of a year of timing. When I got in position to win, when I had the opportunity to win tournaments, I was able to close the door and finish off events like I hadn't in the past.
That was point in case right there at East Lake, where I knew I had everything riding. 16th, 17th, 18th holes were very difficult. I bogeyed 16, I bogeyed 17, didn't hit a great shot at 18, but was able to hit a good bunker shot and felt extremely calm over the putt for some reason and was able to knock it in.
I never had a season where I won three tournaments before. My peers named me PGA TOUR Player of the Year. On top of that, my name will be on the FedEx trophy forever. Last year we were only in our fourth year of the FedExCup, but 50 years from now I think there's going to be some history. The first three names, you got Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk. I'm in very strong company and I feel like as far as our TOUR is concerned, we've taken steps and turned a corner and moved in a new direction. I'm proud to be a part of that history forever.
TODD RHINEHART: Before we turn it over to the media for some questions to you, tell us a little bit about your year this year. Obviously been an up-and-down year. Last week at the Wyndham Championship you tied for ninth and now are in 60th place going into the FedExCup. Tell us a little bit about your season and what you're looking forward to the next few weeks.
JIM FURYK: It's been disappointing, I won't lie. I think outside of my rookie year, it's probably my worst year on the PGA TOUR. It's been somewhat inconsistent. Actually, it's been kind of consistently poor, to be honest with you.
I sprinkled some good events early in the year. I played poorly through the middle of the year, which is disappointing, because those are some of my favorite events. As of the last couple of months I think I've played some pretty good golf.
I had opportunities at the PGA to play well. I had opportunities at Bridgestone to play well. I was playing pretty well in Canada. I made some mistakes. Last week was a little better. I felt like I finished off the tournament pretty well. I birdied three of my last four holes coming in. I feel pretty good about my game.
A lot of people have asked, What were the issues this year? There's three clubs in your bag that are the most important: your driver, your wedge and your putter. I feel like I've wedged the ball pretty well, but I haven't driven it very well, I've driven it very inconsistent for me, and throughout the year I hit the ball very crooked for me. The driving stats don't show that as much in that I probably still am in the top 20 in driving accuracy, but when I missed it, I missed it way offline, and it cost me in a lot of events.
I've had a very inconsistent putting year. In the last month I moved to a belly putter. Really I'm starting to feel comfortable with it and feel better with it. I feel like I've got the driver solved, I've gone through a bunch of drivers this year, feel like the last few weeks I've driven the ball a lot better. I think the putting is coming along.
I'm kind of on the upswing and very positive about my game right now. If you want me to reflect on the year, it's obviously been a disappointing year as a whole.
TODD RHINEHART: We'll open it up to questions.
Q. How many alarm clocks do you have set this week?
JIM FURYK: I whiffed here last year. One or two. I'll be all right (laughter).
Q. Obviously you were high up enough last year to be able to withstand missing that first event. But where you are this year, are these first two weeks more crucial than the other weeks in this tournament because there are cuts and because you can make a big move?
JIM FURYK: They are, they are. Last year I think I was third going into points. I fell to seventh after the first event. Not a bad fall. Then played actually pretty mediocre in Boston and Chicago, was able to kind of hang in there and be within shouting distance of the TOUR Championship.
This year is totally different. Right now it's 60th in the points. I should be safe for the top 100 for next week. But really what I'm looking for is to try to play well this week and next week to make sure I stay in that top 70 and also elevate my standing and get closer to that top 30.
I've got two weeks to make sure that I manage Chicago for the BMW, and I've got three weeks to make sure I get in the top 30 for the TOUR Championship.
I'm viewing it two different ways. I don't want to put the cart before the horse. I want to give myself three opportunities and make the BMW. If I play really well in one of those three events, I can make it to the TOUR Championship. I'm looking forward to it. Like I said, I feel like my game is on the upswing. The way the FedEx playoffs are set up, if you've had a good season, you don't have to do as much to give yourself an opportunity to win the FedExCup. If you had a relatively bad season, like I feel I have, starting back there at 60th, one win or a couple really strong finishes, I could be in the top 10 pretty easily. It's not easy to do, but you can make some big jumps and get yourself in the top 10 and have opportunities at the TOUR Championship.
There's always a chance when you get in these playoffs.
Q. Jim, the TOUR this year has had 11 first-time winners. There has not been one sort of breakthrough dominant big-name guy going into the playoffs. What do you think the momentum is right now of the PGA TOUR without that sort of big name that has broken through this year and won a whole bunch?
JIM FURYK: If you remember, we sat in the same spot last year. I remember a bunch of us, Matt Kuchar, myself, there was a bunch of players in that top five that all had good years, won a couple of times, but no one really. Matt probably was the leader in the clubhouse on the way to the TOUR Championship, but no one had really separated themselves.
I felt like for a long time on our PGA TOUR we've been very deep, we've had a lot of players that have had the opportunity to win major championships and win events. You know, Tiger dominated for so long. He was the guy that you all spoke about, and reasonably so. If I were writing a story about the PGA TOUR for the last 10 years, Tiger would have been in that story almost 100% of the time.
But now that times have changed, things have changed, it's kind of up for grabs. It's a great time to be a young player on TOUR because I feel like right now as a Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, they should deserve some headlines, they should be in the media's eye, public's eye, getting a lot of respect for what they're doing.
Five years ago when Tiger was dominating, I'm not sure they would have gotten as many headlines. I'm not sure our average Joe fan at home would have known as much about Dustin or Rickie, not because they didn't deserve it, but just because Tiger was spoken about so much back then.
I think it's a good time for our TOUR. I think our fans are getting to know a lot more players and a lot more of the younger guys and I think it's great for our game.
Q. Jim, talking about your season and talking about winning this tournament last year, picking up the prize that you picked up, was it difficult to get the season started? Was there a bit of a letdown? Was it hard to psych yourself up?
JIM FURYK: No. I had people talk to me about that throughout the summer. Was there any hangover effects? Was it a letdown to come back out?
I've had a lot of good years before. I won the U.S. Open, I won two times in 2003. I won two events in 2006 and played very well. I got hurt in 2004, but I didn't find it difficult to get up and play well in 2007.
It would be an excuse, in my mind, if I'd say it was hard. No, I'm excited. It's what I do for a living. I enjoy competing. I enjoy playing golf. I made some mistakes this year. I think from the way I attacked the golf course, I made some mistakes in my equipment this year. But overall I didn't play well. It's my fault. I'm working through it now, working hard to turn it to a positive side.
Q. Jim, I wonder if you could speak from a player's standpoint about how the perception or the thought about the FedExCup and getting to this culmination circulates through the players, what you think of it, how it's matured over the five years.
JIM FURYK: I think it's matured a lot. I think at first everyone was hesitant. You never know what to expect. It was different. We had done things on the PGA TOUR the same way for so long.
You know, I think our commissioner, it was a juggling act. You had television wanting more excitement. You wanted the tournaments to feel like they were on an even playing field with each other. Players had certain requests.
As a player, I think we're very fortunate for the new system. But I think it's been good for television. I think it's been good for our golf tournaments. I think overall there's going to be pluses and negatives to anything. But the pluses far, far outweigh any negatives you could have about the FedExCup. I think the guys have gotten increasingly, as the years have gone on, excited about starting the playoffs.
I think last week was a pretty fair assessment of that in Greensboro where you had a lot of guys, it was a pretty strong field, and you had a lot of guys that were in that field that maybe weren't in the past, but they were looking at their seeding for the FedExCup, they weren't in a position they liked. I was one of those players. They said, I got to go to Greensboro, give it a shot and improve my position.
TODD RHINEHART: Last year you had a nice prize besides the $10 million first-place prize, a vintage Coca-Cola cooler. Have you and Tabitha and the kids put that to good use?
JIM FURYK: It's up in the TV room where I watch all the football games. It does quite well. It takes the small bottles, but very nice. Also a nice silver Bobby Jones putter as well. I've put all those to good use. Got them in good spots.
TODD RHINEHART: We appreciate your time today. Wish you the best of luck through the rest of the playoffs. Look forward to seeing you back at East Lake in a few weeks.
JIM FURYK: Enjoyed it. Thank you for having me.
TODD RHINEHART: Great to hear from Jim. He's been a member of the PGA TOUR for years, talk about the excitement, the youth movement right now. Wish him the best of luck this week.
This is really about the PGA TOUR and the communities where we play. I don't think there's a finer example of that anywhere in the country except what's happened here in the East Lake community. To tell you a little more about that is our chairman, Rob Johnston.
ROB JOHNSTON: Thank you for being here. I heard a lot of player interviews in my time working with tournaments, I think that's the finest interview I've ever heard a player give, what he has said about the FedExCup and what he said about the state of play with the younger players, it's what we're hearing from the community this year.
This is our 11th TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. This is the first year I've been able to go out in the community and talk to various groups and sell ticket packages where the marquee players aren't discussed. You may find that hard to believe. It's always been a fear of who is not coming here or who may not be here. I've not engaged in one of those conversations this year. So far it's all been about the exciting play as you so aptly described and the new talent that's taken over this TOUR.
I am one of just 1320 volunteers. Most of our volunteers come back every year, 80% retention every year, we're done by February. That is very unusual on the TOUR. We have an exciting group of volunteers who are dedicated. We come here for three reasons:
One, we feel it is the best venue for the highest quality of play anywhere in the United States because we have the 30 best players on a perfect golf course that's laid out for up-close and personal viewing. Everybody enjoys and understands the quality of the golf.
The second is the tradition and legacy of East Lake Golf Club. It can match anyplace in the country.
The third is the East Lake Foundation. On Sunday, when the last putt is dropped, in that case it was by Jim Furyk, 10s of millions of dollars are given out in FedExCup points, all richly deserved, there's also another winner, the East Lake Foundation. Over the last 10 years, 11 and a half million dollars in proceeds have been given to the East Lake Foundation, including last year's contribution of $1.1 million.
If you ask why that's important, I'll tell you in 60 seconds. For 40 or 50 years this entire area around here was probably the worst zip code in the United States. I was ashamed to be a citizen of Atlanta in this country knowing that poverty and misery and illiteracy could fester in one area like it did here. Only 5% of the children in the '80s and early '90s in this area met school standards, unemployment rate was 85%, and there was not a single male to be found who was the head of a household in all of East Lake Villages. There was nothing but desperation. All they were doing was identifying and manufacturing prisoners in 10 or 15 years. It was a hideous, hideous place to be.
How Tom Cousins came up with his vision and executed it I'm not sure I'll ever know. He did it. He has stuck with it. What you see outside these gates is a transformation of miraculous proportions because now 98% of the children of East Lake meet or exceed state standards. It's one of the third highest school systems in the state of Georgia. Unemployment rate is under 10% and kids are going to college.
So when we have public education in this city that we well know the problems we have here, the dropout, the illiteracy, we can show what East Lake is doing, it gives us hope all across the country. That is what is happening. This model has been so successful here, it is being transported over to Indianapolis, to New Orleans, to Memphis, other cities that are seeing what this has done.
So we're very proud of this East Lake miracle. The message I will leave you with is please continue to support it. The problem we encountered here, many other neighborhoods in Atlanta as we well know, and other cities, are hundreds of years in the making. The problem doesn't go away in one generation. It's going to take ongoing help. All of us are committed to being with this tournament and to the East Lake Foundation until every child in Atlanta has an equal opportunity and across the country.
Thank goodness we have the PGA TOUR. David, thank you for all the leadership you and Todd have given to the organization of this tournament. The Coca-Cola Company, Mike, y'all are the best partner we ever possibly could have to put on this tournament. Thank you so much. The Southern Company, you've been there since day one, support the Payne Stewart Award. If any of you can help us tell the story to anybody you know and care about in the city, let's take this to East Point, to Memorial, all the other neighborhoods that need this type of help. We would appreciate it.
Kayla, you are going to be our star on the First Tee hitting the tee shot along with young Charlie Yates this September 22nd. Last year I was not quick enough when Mr. Yates, we gave him a Mulligan, no Mulligans this year. You blasted it straight down the middle. Thank you all for being here with us. Thank you.
TODD RHINEHART: Thanks, Rob. You can tell why we have 1300 volunteers who sign up within two months. It's because of the leadership that Rob brings, not just to this tournament but the entire community. We're fortunate to have two wonderful community partners. He told the story about replicating the East Lake model to other cities and communities around this country. Thanks to one of our sponsors, Coca-Cola, they're trying to tell this story more. We have a lot of exciting things coming up this year with the tournament. It's my pleasure to introduce you to Sharon Byers from the Coca-Cola Company.
SHARON BYERS: Good afternoon.
It's my privilege to be here today to represent the Coca-Cola Company alongside our fantastic TOUR Championship partners, East Lake Golf Club, as well as the East Lake Foundation, and to actually have a chance to talk to the Atlanta media because I don't think we have enough time with you guys.
We're so excited to sponsor this tournament alongside Southern Company. You'll see a new look and feel that Coca-Cola is bringing to this tournament. You'll see a little bit of our logo. Hopefully you like it. What you'll feel in the tournament, whether you're on the golf course or watching it from your TV, you're going to see a different presentation. Obviously our flagship brand, Coca-Cola, will be our predominant brand, but we're also going to introduce you to some brands you may not associate with Coca-Cola, Seagram's Ginger Ale, for example. When you're here at the tournament, we have a sizable entertainment tent that is called the Seagram's Social Lounge. Within this lounge folks can come in and obviously enjoy an ice cold refreshing Seagram's Ginger Ale. But you also have a chance to check on with what's going on with the golf tournament and football scores. We invite all you guys to come by. It should be really great.
In addition, if you think about the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola is actually celebrating the 125th anniversary this year. For those of you who are part of the Coca-Cola family, have lived here in Atlanta, you've seen how we've draped our building over the summer. It's a pretty sizable milestone for Coca-Cola. It's our 125th anniversary.
When you think of it for a century and a quarter, Coca-Cola has literally grown up beside Atlanta. We've certainly celebrated some triumphs, the birth of this beautiful golf course in 1908, certainly have all had some challenges. As partners, we have never wavered from the mission that Rob so greatly talked about, which is creating this amazing feature for the city and the citizens for our city.
During the time that the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola is going to be here in Atlanta, it will contribute to our economy $30 million to $35 million. So it is a huge revenue play for our city.
Specifically this year, the 2011 tournament, the specific proceeds from the tournament will go to support two of the most important youth programs that we have here in Atlanta: the First Tee of East Lake and the First Tee of Atlanta. Where Coca-Cola is so proud to be part of these facilities, what they teach these kids is not only golf instruction, access to golf courses, it touches over a thousand inner-city kids, just like Kayla here. Beyond that, what they also teach is life skills for these children. It introduces them to this great game that we love, golf, but it also takes them more into the future to make them better citizens. Life skills can be everything from courtesy, goal setting, responsibility, and obviously how to live a healthy, active lifestyle.
Again, it's my privilege to be here. Coca-Cola is completely committed to the East Lake community as well as greater Atlanta. We're really proud to be a presenting sponsor for this great tournament and we look forward to seeing everyone in September.
TODD RHINEHART: Thank you, Sharon. As you mentioned, the 125th anniversary of the Coca-Cola company.
At this time I want to bring up Kayla McClendon. She's with the First Tee of East Lake. Kayla, come on up.
Kayla, why don't you tell us how you got involved in the First Tee of East Lake.
KAYLA McCLENDON: I first got involved, I was in a summer program over at my aunt's house and she signed me up. When I first started the First Tee at East Lake, I didn't really enjoy golf that much. My dad played golf. It was more like, Hey, Kayla, it's Saturday morning, got to get up, go to golf practice. I also played basketball. I really loved basketball at the time.
But then the First Tee East Lake kind of growed on me. I love golf now. I'm a very active participant in the First Tee of East Lake and I love it.
TODD RHINEHART: What does the First Tee mean to you?
KAYLA McCLENDON: The First Tee of East Lake is a great program. We have great coaches, and they're great role models to all of us. The First Tee of East Lake has molded me to be the young lady I am today. It's taught me golf skills as well as life skills that I use throughout my everyday life and have really bettered my lifestyle.
TODD RHINEHART: What is the biggest lesson you think you've learned from the First Tee?
KAYLA McCLENDON: The biggest lesson I've learned is probably goal setting because when you set goals you have something to look forward to. Without setting goals, you really can't reach any of them. When you set goals, it kind of prepares you for whatever you're trying to accomplish.
TODD RHINEHART: Finally, we have some exciting news that Rob mentioned. Tell us what you'll be doing on Thursday, September 22nd here at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
KAYLA McCLENDON: I'll be hitting the ceremonial tee shot on Thursday. I'm really excited. It's my first time doing this. I was a junior course reporter last year, so I kind of got to see the behind-the-scenes action. Being in front of the camera this time is a great experience.
TODD RHINEHART: Thank you, Kayla, for being here today. It's obviously a great example of what the First Tee means. We look forward to seeing you in a few weeks here at East Lake.
KAYLA McCLENDON: Look forward to being there.
TODD RHINEHART: This is a tradition we started a few years ago. Martavious Adams was one of the first students, hit it 265 yards down the middle. No pressure, we know you can do it. She won a competition between her peers at the First Tee. I want to thank her parents for being here today, the influence you've been on here, and Coach Williams who does a great job with all the kids over there. Thank you very much.
One of the things we really want to try to strive to make this event a community event, we want to bring the youth to the game of golf. Because of that we actually allow children 18 and under to get in free with a ticketed adult. We have a great partner who allows that to happen as well as free public parking at Turner Field. It's my great pleasure to introduce to you Chris Womack from Southern Company.
CHRIS WOMACK: If you listen to Kayla, you can see why we get so excited about the TOUR Championship here in Atlanta, the proceeds that are generated by this golf tournament, how it can support these programs. That's one of the things that's so very important to us as we support this event.
We get so excited about the TOUR Championship, working with Sharon and Mike, our partners at Coca-Cola, because this is a good event for the City of Atlanta. Sharon talked about the economics and the tax benefits that come along with this event. But we talk about Atlanta being a big-time city. When you're a big-time city, you got to host and have big-time events.
We had the PGA a couple weeks ago. Now we've got the TOUR Championship coming back for the 11th time. So that's a good measurement of a big-time city. So we get excited about bringing these kind of events to our community.
Then lastly, it's the whole charitable piece. We've got to be good neighbors, no matter what we do as a company or as individuals. That means giving back and helping others. So this is one great way of doing that. So as you see us facilitating kids coming in for free, the other things that we do, it's just a wonderful, wonderful event. So we're proud to be supporters of the TOUR Championship.
One of the other things that we get excited about and we started in 1999, if you guys remember the TOUR Championship, the infamous plane crash when we lost Payne Stewart, one of the things a lot of people during that time, we mourned, how do we remember Payne? You all remember him with his nickers, but also Payne was very colorful. He played a lot of games. He was a practical joker. But also Payne had great integrity for this game and he had an incredible love for his fellow players.
The image of Payne that I always remember, if you remember when he won the U.S. Open in Pinehurst, he was in the same group with Phil Mickelson. When Mickelson missed that putt, Payne made the putt, what did he do? Mickelson's wife was pregnant at the time. Payne grabbed Phil by the face, brought his face very close to his, told him what a great experience he was going to have being a dad.
As we think about Payne, we say, How do we honor Payne's legacy? We established the Payne Stewart Award. It recognizes a current player in terms of a player that's a player's player, that recognizes a player that's supportive of other players, that is supportive of the game, that is an incredible ambassador of the game, but also instills all the values that golf brings to bear.
We've done it 11 times now. Last year recognized Tom Lehman, the year before Kenny Perry. We have recognized some incredible, incredible players. We do that every year, working in partnership with Tracy Stewart and the Stewart Foundation in terms of making cash grants and donations to programs across the country. It's something we get excited about.
We'll make that announcement in a few weeks, I think the Tuesday before the TOUR Championship. That's one thing that we think is a wonderful event, a wonderful opportunity to announce here during this tournament.
I could go on and on and on because it is a wonderful event. There are a lot of things going on, whether it's Georgia Tech, UGA folks are saying, What am I going to be doing on Saturday? You can do both. You can come here and watch the TOUR Championship, drink some Seagram's Ginger Ale, not the other. Let's be clear, Seagram's Ginger Ale. Y'all caught that, didn't you? I first saw that, Since when has Coca-Cola been getting into the spirits?
Seriously, guys, help us out. As you guys get on your shows, on the radio, talk about it, talk about the shots you made today, how thick the rough is, help us push the event. We have really this year made some major efforts in reaching out just beyond Coca-Cola and Southern in terms of getting additional community support from a lot of other companies. It's already a wonderful event, but we're trying to turn it up a notch.
We're excited for being here. Guys, thank you very, very much.
TODD RHINEHART: Thank you, Chris.
This event is headed in the right direction. This is the 11th year. But both Coca-Cola and Southern Company renewed their sponsorships last year through 2016, which you think about in this economy, what we've been through in the recession the last couple years, is unheard of. You can see their commitment to this event and more importantly to the Atlanta community.
The thing about the Seagram's Social Lounge is now that mobile devices are allowed at PGA TOUR tournaments, you're not disconnected from work on Thursday or Friday. If your friends want to come out on Saturday or Sunday, you can see what the football scores are. We're going to do some great give-aways on Facebook and Twitter. In part of your packet today will be a little flash drive that will have some great story ideas, pitches you might be able to tell on the radio, TV and print. Hopefully you'll get that message out. This is probably one of the most outdated policies the PGA TOUR ever had. We're really glad to connect our fans back to the game of golf.
Also we mentioned the youth policy. We also have a military policy. Active, retired or reserve men and women get into this tournament for free. Kipper Tool is the sponsor for the Patriot Outpost on the 16th green, which is a difficult par 4 which some of you might have encountered today. It's a great way for us to thank them for everything they do.
Finally we thank you for your time today. This is truly the cornerstone of the Atlanta community. We're very excited to have the PGA Championship here this year, but unfortunately that will not be here for another decade. So this is the golf tournament in Atlanta that benefits charities. With all the new things we're doing this year, our goal, we've raised $11 million over the last 10 years, take that up a notch, get it to where we're raising $20 million over the next six years. Thank you today for your support.
All of our speakers who were here today will be available for any questions you might have. We look forward to seeing you here at East Lake in four weeks for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports